The 2019 Tri-C Karters season at CalSpeed came to a close this past Saturday, as round number eight saw the final hardware given out for the year, as well as champions crowned when the final checkers fell. CSK Racing entered the event having already secured some of that hardware, but there was still plenty to fight for, and it would be an exciting season finale, with a former champ returning to play as well…
100cc TAG Masters
Coming into the final round of the year, Mark Connell was all but guaranteed a step on the podium via his advantage over fourth in the championship, but was within reach of stealing away the 2nd spot as well. With an eye to next year, Connell also swapped rides for the final event, taking on the Tecnico layout astride an OTK chassis for the first time this year. While it would be a learning experience trying to sort out how the new ride worked, the end results would not be indicative of his progress on the day.
Qualifying would see one of the closest results from the season regulars, as Connell clocked the 6th fast time, albeit within a tenth of the drivers all around him in the championship. After making a couple of tuning changes, the heat races would show even more promise as he adapted to the kart, clocking competitive times with a pair of top 5 finishes as the result. Heading into the main, things were looking up at a shot at the podium, clocking the fastest lap of the drivers he was chasing before injuring his ribs immediately after. Connell went from chasing down a podium and possibly the 2nd step overall, to just trying to finish the race – which he was able to do despite the pain.
Overall it would be third in the championship for Mark Connell, his rookie season in 2-strokes showing a lot of promise, especially considering the bad luck he had had throughout the year. CSK Racing would also like to thank Jim Berry for not only helping under the tent on race day, but providing the power for Mark Connells ride all season.
100cc TAG Masters (Top 5)
- Robert Perez 2691
- Steve Jasinski 2499
- Mark Connell 2466
- Bryan Williams 2365
- Dana Estes 2276
The 206 Masters category was more of a laid back one for the CSK Racing tent for the most part, as their drivers Lukas Dziemidok and Jose da Silva had already locked in the top two spots in the championship the round prior. Instead, the tables turned to a couple of others under the tent looking for success. Long-time CSK Racing driver Sean Bradley had his goals set from the onset of the day, pushing to get back into the hardware, while Alexander Bermudez made his third appearance of the year, and looked to finally claim an elusive win after a pair of seconds. It turned out to be a roller coaster of a day…
Qualifying would see Bradley score the outside pole, and would maintain that spot with the aforementioned top 2 finishing third and fourth respectively. In heat 2, things would get pretty spread out, but the fast driver late in the race would again be Bradley, closing in on the leader before running out of time. At scales however things would change, and it would end up being CSK Racing 1-2-3-4 with Bradley taking the win, with Dziemidok, Bermudez, and Silva in a row.
In that Main, it would be Bradley leading the way for the opening two thirds, but a hungry Bermudez took over on lap eight. Bradley would slide back to third in the shuffle, with Dziemidok following Bermudez through. It would all go wrong for Sean Bradley after that, as contact a lap later would see him knocked out of the race, while the top two battled for the final win of the season. In the end, it would be Bermudez crossing the line first but would be assessed a 1 spot penalty for passing under yellow. It would be his 3rd second-place finish in as many tries, while the 2019 champ capped off the season with win #4.
206 Masters (Top 5)
- Lukas Dziemidok 2721
- Jose da Silva 2614
- Steve Jasinski 2474
- Pietro Moro 2455
- Sean Bradley 2427
One of the closest championship battles in all of Tri-C Karters was the one for 206 Senior; CSK Racing driver Seth Willits had a slim 25 point lead coming in, mimicking the fight for the championship from a year ago at the season Finale. And speaking of 2018, team driver coach and reigning 206 champ Derek Esquibel would come out to play in the final event, proving exactly why he was indeed the champ.
The day itself would indeed belong to Esquibel; starting with pole position in qualifying, and continuing with convincing wins in both heat races, clicking off some of the most consistent fast laps of the year. The Main too would see him out front, but this time, fellow title rival from 2018 Riley Dugan would catch him to put on one of the best 206 shows of the season. The veterans would duke it out over the final two laps, going side by side for multiple corners, with Esquibel coming away with the win, and the perfect day after also scoring fast lap in the main.
In the championship fight, Seth Willits’ day did not start out as well, as a gamble on the setup up saw him start the furthest back all year, and it would be followed up with a flip in the first heat. Thankfully the kart and driver would be ok and able to continue, but in the end would lose a couple of spots to his rival in the championship. Heat two would see Willits march towards the front, getting to just outside the top 5, and with it, a healthy amount of points after his rival was knocked out. In the Main, it was a battle royal for the first several laps, with the top three getting away, and Willits emerging in a fight for fourth – with his championship rival. While he did not need to beat him to secure the championship, Willits fought anyway and would come out on top on track, and in the championship.
206 Senior (Top 5)
- Seth Willits 2629
- Dakota Tate 2589
- Riley Dugan 2581
- Lukas Dziemidok 2395
- Sean Bradley 2377
CSK Racing would like to again thank all of their customers for coming out during the year, as well as congratulate all of our drivers for their success in the 2019 season. Thanks to Tri-C Karters for putting on great events all year long, RLV for their continued support of our team, as well as all of the people that have supported CSK Racing over the past three seasons! See you at the track!